When looking at the starting pitchers that were available during the height of the free agency signing period, Gavin Floyd was not one that most would have looked at and thought “we need to sign this guy.” I mean, he barely pitched at all in the last 2 years, starting 9 games for the Atlanta Braves in 2014 before breaking a bone in his elbow, and his 2013 was only 5 unimpressive starts for the Chicago White Sox before getting Tommy John surgery. But he could end up being the best value signing of the offseason.
Floyd was signed on December 16th to a one year deal for $4 million with another $6 million that could come his way via bonuses. That much money possibly going to a pitcher with the injury history that Floyd brings does raise eyebrows but last year’s injury was more flukey rather than a sign of wear and tear and it is agreed upon in the medical community that a pitcher is mostly back to normal from Tommy John two years after the surgery.
Even though the Indians rotation is loaded with young starters, general manager Chris Antonetti and manager Terry Francona have come out and said that Floyd is guaranteed a spot in the rotation. Francona has even gone so far as to say that Floyd could be as high as the number two starter behind staff ace Corey Kluber, according to MLB beat writer Jordan Bastian
Rotation arguments and where players slot are fun conversations to have in February (you can read about our Wroundtable on who should be the 5th starter here and our Yo Bro/No Bro on whether or not Zach McAllister should be the 5th starter here). Francona obviously has faith in Floyd to bounce back and be the veteran presence and innings eater that the Front Office is always looking for.
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Streamer projects Floyd to not pitch a full season, only expecting 19 games started. A 6-7 record isn’t great, but the 4.27 ERA, 4.16 FIP and 6.95 K/9 are all in line with career numbers, if not better. Projection systems are not the best when trying to predict pitching performances, but these numbers are in line with his past performance and show that the only thing holding Floyd back from performing well and meeting expectations would be injury. It might not be the flashy move most fans are looking for, but Floyd could prove to be the best bargain on a playoff team.